Title: More than Just Passion: Reflective Note of Female Young Scholar in Promoting Gender Studies and Improving Participation of Women in Academia Indonesia
Speaker: Dr. Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi (Senior Researcher, Research Center for Politics, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Indonesia)
This presentation is a reflection of my engagement with gender and women’s issues, from personal passion to academic position and action. As a female young scholar working in the state research institution since 2001, I began to realize that gender and women’s issues have been marginalized from the political discourse and research plan. The only key to change is becoming an “agent of change” by winning the academic debate among the status-quo male academia, not to mention apathetic reactions some female academia. I strategically attempt to improve my “individual capital” by studying with leading Indonesianist scholars of gender studies abroad, creating strong networks with strategic gender institutions beyond Indonesia as well as maintaining networks with influential Islamic women organizations and government agencies. Accumulation of my individual capital soon grew into personal confidence and strength. Winning the academic debate with male academics, who opposed my plan, is only the first step of opening the door. Gathering support from male prominent researchers as well as female prominent researchers is an imperative step, though exhausting. After three years (2012-2015) that took so much energy and endless effort, the research cluster on gender and politics officially operated (2015-2019). A new level of struggle is just starting. I soon realized the difficulty of finding young female academics that have genuine passion to go hand in hand to develop the cluster and make it bigger and stronger. In practice, in addition to the inter-generational challenges, some female academics use “gender” as keyword to win grants, claiming public existence, without truly committing themselves to devote their time, mind, energy and material to advance gender studies.
Title: The Development and Growth of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Speaker: Dr. Shanthi Thambiah (Associate Professor, Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Malaysia)
In Malaysia, women’s studies and gender studies are new fields struggling to be accepted as legitimate academic fields equal to mainstream disciplines. The academic and intellectual validity of women’s studies and gender studies was recognised because of the research done by early feminists. Research and studies on women before the seventies were scarce but researchers who welcomed international changes achieved by the global women’s movement were prepared to work to localise the need to elevate the position of women in society. Public universities were also urged to look into ways of contributing towards uplifting the status of women. The article outlines the history of the institutionalisation of gender studies and its profile since its inception at the University of Malaya.
Takuro Furusawa (Chair, Fieldworker Family Care Support Group, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)
Liulan Wang-Kanda (Associate Professor, Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, Doshisha University)
Chika Obiya (Associate Professor, CSEAS)
*This seminar is organized by CSEAS Gender Equality Committee in collaboration with the Fieldworker Family Care Support Group, ASAFAS, Kyoto University.
Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi is Senior Researcher in the Research Center for Politics, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and is also a member of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS). She earned her Ph.D. in Area Studies from Kyoto University, and MA in Asian Studies from the Australian National University. Her research interests are in the areas of gender and politics, gender and decentralization, Islam and women leadership, representation of women and ethnic minorities, human rights of women and children. Her publications have appeared in leading academic journals.
Shanthi Thambiah is currently Deputy Dean of Post Graduate Studies as well as Associate Professor of Gender Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya. She studied at the University of Malaya for her bachelor’s degree, M.Phil from the University of Cambridge and her PhD in Social Anthropology is from the University of Hull. She has published widely on gender, family and work and changing gender relations in Malaysia.
**For these seminars, we will provide a nursing service in a room near the venue for free. If you are interested in using it, please contact us not later than November 5, 2017. (shitara[AT]cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp)